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New Business: Industry veterans Sidharth Rao and Madhu Sudhan launch new mar-tech services firm Punt

BANGALORE, INDIA — After 23 years as founder of Webchutney, one of India’s top digital agencies, Sidharth Rao is starting up again. In his new venture, he is joined by Madhu Sudhan, a serial entrepreneur himself, with expertise in leading growth at technology start-ups. Punt’s founders believe that there is a $100B opportunity that’s not being correctly addressed at this moment in time — an industry whose incumbents are either IT services firms handicapped without complete marketing context or traditional advertising networks that are currently playing catch up through inorganic buy-out strategies.

On this new chapter, Sidharth said, “Back in ‘99, I saw the need for brands to shift towards digital, maybe a tad too early, and decided to start one of the first digital agencies in India. Today, I get a constant sense of deja-vu while watching agencies not able to fully grasp the urgency with which they need to build their marketing technology services stack. Digital advertising surpassing TV spends across the world is the end of an era. But it’s also the beginning of a complex and constantly changing one, with the mar-tech landscape gaining significance. I do believe that given the complexity that brands face, we’re about to see a giant wave of large-scale mar-tech service providers built out of India. And with Punt, we want to get a serious head-start.”

Madhu Sudhan adds, “Marketers are dealing with an increasingly complex set of products in their sales & marketing stacks to drive acquisition and retention. Most products are point solutions that specifically solve for analytics, attribution, communication, intelligence, automation, enablement, and engagement. Quite often, marketers do not build the skills in-house to leverage these products to their fullest extent or to ensure they work well with all the other products they are using. This leads to a dual problem – poor outcomes for the marketer and churns for the product provider. Punt will address this problem by building specialist skills to ensure brands can identify and implement the right products and drive outcomes with optimal utilization of the mar-tech stack they have chosen.”

Much like in the 80s-90s, when the ITES wave created gigantic opportunities for India and saw the emergence of large technology services firms, Sidharth and Madhu believe that the internet industry is at the cusp of a new era – an era where technology is penetrating deep into marketing teams and creates a need for specialist skills to succeed. The company aims to be a specialist partner helping clients with their sales & marketing stacks with both new age SaaS partners and the large cloud platforms of Google, Adobe & Salesforce. Punt’s ambitions include servicing the North American, UK, and Middle East markets with delivery from India.

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